Free Zone, that’s the name of the new service which allows prepaid subscribers to access Gmail, Google Search, and Google+ right on their feature phones – for free. Thanks to the world’s search giant Google; this new service paves the way for the next billion users in emerging markets across the globe to access the web. And the Philippines, with more or less 35% of its population use the internet, is the first country in the world to kick-start the service. This is through an exclusive partnership with Globe Telecom, whose prepaid Globe and Touch Mobile (TM) subscribers got the first dibs of the service starting on Thursday until March 31st next year.
How to Use Free Zone
1. In your computer, visit libre.ph or g.co/freezone.
2. Click the button that says “Send a link to your phone”
3. A form will popup; just enter the mobile number of the handset you want to use Free Zone. Note that this only work, initially, with Globe Telecom.
4. Then follow the instruction after you sent the link to your phone.
Alternatively, you can also directly fire up your mobile phone’s default web browser and type in g.co/freezone in the address bar; or just text LIBRE to 8888.
So What Exactly Are Free on Google Free Zone?
Please note though that only using Google products (Gmail, Google Search, Google+) inside Free Zone is free. You’ll need to sign in to your Google account so you can read emails, do searches, and update your Google+ profile. Though Google says it’s completely free that it won’t even serve ads in the Free Zone, here are the important things to consider.
1. You can only read and send emails in Gmail, but you can’t download and open attachments for free.
2. You can do queries on Google Search without limit and you can open the links in the search result pages. But Google says, “If you click on a link after this, you will need to pay for this data usage”.
What exactly this means is, for instance, if you search “Cebu Tech Blogger” – you don’t pay anything once you click on the link to CebuTechBlogger.com from the result page. But if you click a link within CebuTechBlogger.com, you’ll be charged for the data incurred in loading that link.
The charge for data usage is less to worry though since there will be a warning page with an option to opt out if you don’t want to proceed in loading external pages or downloading email attachments.